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What we have for you now is the premiere of a song from the forthcoming debut album Dark Prometheus by the multi-national black metal band Pnakotic Manuscript. Both the album’s conceptual narrative and the band’s own name launched this writer on a series of internet searches.
The band’s unusual name seems to be a reference to mythic ancient and occult writings that may be rooted (at least in part) in Lovecraftian lore, which provide medieval descriptions of alien races populating the earth, strange cosmic deities, and legendary heroes. But this is only a guess.
As for the album, its central protagonist is the historical figure Peter of Amiens, also known as Peter the Hermit. A Roman Catholic priest, he was commissioned by Pope Urban II to command an armed pilgrimage from France to Jerusalem, and thus became a key figure during the military expedition known as the People’s Crusade and the First Crusade. Under his leadership, the crusaders also engaged in the torture and slaughter of Jews along the way.
Pnakotic Manuscript portrays Peter as a dark Prometheus, using his oratorical talents and the mantle of Church authority to lead people through deception into war and toward their own extinction, “giving them false ideas about the salvation of their sinful souls after death”.
The song we present today is itself named “Peter the Hermit’s Curse“. Produced in a way that brings ominous and turbulent power but also shining clarity, the song creates an unnerving and heartbreaking experience, and it proves to be quite memorable as well as strikingly dramatic.
With furious blast-beats and a thunderous bass providing the drive, dismal chords clang low down and roiling chords ring high above, creating a desperate sense-surround storm, through which crazed screams pierce and scald the ears.
It’s a bracing though unsettling way to begin, but once the song has succeeded in getting the nerves tingling and the adrenaline flowing, the music begins to change, with the reverberation of notes that seem to hybridize bells and sirens, crying out in anguish. Rocking and galloping beats and brazen fanfares join forces to create daunting but grand sensations, and the guitars also burst into episodes of deleterious delirium and flow like sweeping, glimmering waves that seem to channel confusion, calamity, and emotional desolation.
Dark Prometheus will be released by the Moldova-based label Symbol Of Domination on January 13th, 2023, and it comes recommended (as the label says) “for connoisseurs of Marduk, Dark Funeral, Emperor, Gorgoroth and even Converge“.
We’re also providing a stream of the album’s first advance track “Eternal Shadow“, which is a free download at Bandcamp.